Category Archives: Health Tips

Facial Pampering Part II

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Coconut Oil

pretty bottles

pretty bottles (Photo credit: Kvitsh)

– not just for the kitchen!  I am sure most of you out there know about the value of high quality products we use for cooking can also be used for skin care.  Coconut oil falls right into that category as well.

I have stopped using almost all commercially sold cleansers, toners, masks and so on such a long time ago.  I cycle through a variety of lotions and creams I whip up myself.  Using products from your kitchen  work just as well for your beauty care, are less expensive and without a long list of ingredients which no one can pronounce nor understand what it is.  Many of those ingredients have no place in that bottle or jar to begin with and possibly do more harm than good in the long run.  Check out my articles “Stay Away from Phthalates!” , “Keep it Simple” and “Facial Pampering“.

As always, make sure the products are of high quality.  You can pick up organic coconut oil for about $5.50.  One of my homemade exfoiliant consists out of a blend of that wonderful coconut oil and an equal part of Baking Soda (inexpensive and found in most homes!).  It’s ready to use just like that but I like to add a few drops of lemon juice to diminish any dark spots. Other recipes use sugar in place of Baking Soda.   Massage onto face and rinse well with tepid water.  There might be a slightly greasy feeling but the skin absorbs it quickly .  Feel free to follow-up with a light moisturizer if you wish or use a homemade  herbal skin tonic (I have a post on that as well).

I usually make a weeks worth of any of my products since they will spoil and I keep most of them in the fridge.  This exfoliant however,  is a simple and easy, once a week treat for your skin so no need to prepare any more than you need for that day.

Coconut oil has a nearly endless list of possiblities, I have even made toothpaste.  Sounds messy and complicated???   Hahaha -no way!  I like to keep things simple.  All you need is:  Cococonut Oil and Baking Soda…..:) :):)

Stay beautiful!

Juice as Medicine

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English: Fruit on display at La Boqueria marke...

English: Fruit on display at La Boqueria market in Barcelona. Français : Fruits à l’étal dans le marché de La Boqueria à Barcelone. Español: Fruta en el mercado de La Boquería, en Barcelona. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I love juicing!  I have written about it not too long ago and I thank everyone for stoping by and reading the article.  It makes me happy that so many of you are leaving the path of processed foods.  Homemade fruit and vegetable juices do not only improve your overall health and assists in weight loss but is also extremely therapeutic when it comes to dealing with a whole list of illnesses.

Dealing with arthritis for example….at least a pint of grapefruit juice (please not store-bought!  Already processed juice has no benefit at all). Separately to the grapefruit juice, also prepare a half of pint of carrot/spinach juice, and at least half a pint of carrot/sellerie juice. This means a total of two pints daily, which usually leads to tangible results within a reasonable period. It has also been useful to drink half a pint of carrots/turnips/cucumber juice.

Drink these juice combos throughout the day at intervals of one or two hours between each mix. Keep in mind that mixing the different juice types are important since the chemical composition of each individual juice achieve different results. It is important to know the correct mixtures to battle arthritis.  Heat, pills and electricity deal with the pain only and do not combat the cause of the sickness.

The grapefruit juice for example, contains organic salicylic acid which aids in dissolving the unnatural calcium build-up around the joints. The turnips and wintergreen also contain salicylic acid but its job here is to assist in the cleansing and regenerating of the joints.

The dissolving of the unnatural calcium is only the first step of improving the illness. Now it needs to be eliminated form the body and this is where the carrot/sellerie juice comes into play. The carrot/spinach combo is to rebuild and renew and brings all back into balance.

Going through this process can be very painful, some days will be more so than others. As you know, in natural medicine it is often so that first the symptoms get worse before improvement can be seen and noticed. Sticking with it is the key. It also helps to understand the psychological reason for arthritis, which is long suppressed anger and frustration.  Trying to avoid these factors as much as possible will also speed up the healing process.

I can only speak for myself, this has been my journey, my experiences and I would like to share them.  We’ve been conditioned to swallow a pill for everything that ails us, lulled into not taking the horrid side effects seriously.  There are alternatives and I for one, believe strongly that nature holds all answers.   I use the theraputical juice recipes from Dr. Norman Walker, who was an expert on nutrition and lived to be 115 years old.

 

Mother Earth Knows Best

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Keep Lemons in your Medicine Cabinet!

This image shows a whole and a cut lemon. It i...

This image shows a whole and a cut lemon. It is an edit of Image:Lemon.jpg to reduce blown highlights and slightly darken image. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We all know of the virtues of lemons – we use it in hot water and sip it to get over a cold, as a refreshing drink on a beautiful summer day; I know it is a great immune system booster and I add it to my daily skin care regiment as mentioned in  previous blogs called Facial Pampering and Skin Care.  I also use lemons to clean my house and as a room freshener.  Lemons are great but this news from an acquaintance in Europe  really caught my attention and I find it important to pass it on to all who want to take on true responsiblity for their own health and avoid industrial and commercial junk we have bombarded with for so long .

Before I go on with the unexpected powerful health benefits of lemons, I would like to start by giving you some tips used in  many european restaurants.  Once I heard about this, I immediately pulled my lemons from the crisper drawer and placed them in the freezer…..

They put their (of course washed) lemons into the freezer before using them.  Once frozen solid, they grate the entire lemon, peel and all, leaving them with no mess and juice splatter to clean up  and nothing to discard – no waste!  You can conveniently sprinkle the frozen lemon over salads, soups, ice cream, juices, fish, reis, sushi – gosh – the list is endless!  Every dish you create will gain a delightful taste effortlessly.  Goes without saying, I use lemons in my daily juice, depending on the recipe I am using for the day.

By doing this you will not only use the entire fruit nor give meals and drinks that nice twist, but the greatest advantage by doing this is that you will increase your Vitamin C intake 5-10 times since the highest concentration of the Vitamin is in the peel – which we usually throw away.  By using this process you will not only obviously absorb more of the Vitamin but you also receive an added benefit -tata! – the peel also breaks down toxic elements in your body.

Now to the news which surprised me two-folds.

Lemons are 10.000 stronger than Chemotherapy.  This statement comes from one of the largest pharmaceutical producers of the world, after conducting more than 20 laboratory tests since 1970.  They state, a lemon extract therapy destroyed cancerous cells in 12 types of cancer, including Breast, Prostate and Lung cancer.  I am stunned that these results were made public, the pharmaceutical industry isn’t known for being forthcoming with such inexpensive ways of keeping cancer at bay, it doesn’t feed their ultra expensive agendas.  Does anyone remember what happened when it was documented that Bitter Almonds are the ultimate butt-kickers in the cancer field?  Bitter Almonds have now have to be pasteurized before being sold and it is illegal to plant a Bitter Almond tree in your back yard –  all  for our own benefit of course…..so yes, this information  did stun me.  The article states, that the lemon is proven 10.000 more effective than a medicine by the name of Adriamycin which is used world-wide to slow the growth of cancer cells.  It also says, that the lemon extract therapy does not attack any of the healthy cells, only the cancerous ones.  Lemons also fights bacterial infections, various fungus and parasites.  It also has other qualities, it regulates high blood pressure, is an anti-depressant and eases stress.

The Lemon – a magical key to living longer and healthier, would you have known???

Living off juice

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frischgepreßter Karottensaft

frischgepreßter Karottensaft (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many of us have taken on one  New Year Resolution, maybe two, which the goal in mind to improve ourselves.  Stop smoking, eating healthier, more exercise.  Last year mine was to eat better, although I never really had an unhealthy diet to begin with.  This year I want to expand on that, after all, there is always room for improvement, right?

Last year I replaced one solid  meal with a liquid one. I dug out my juicer and reread an old book I had brought with me from Germany many years ago which listed the benefit of every fruit and vegetable and ailments it could cure once juiced.  This has nothing to do with juice fasting for weight loss nor for detoxing, this had to do with a lifestyle change, although the results do include eliminating toxins and slimming down.

Why juice all my produce?  I could steam or make stir-frys, that’s healthy, right?  Well, most of the enzymes, vitamins and nutrients break down when heated and are destroyed entirely by 54 celsius.  The result is, that these foods once consumed, settle and cause blockages in the body which again, result in arthritis, hemorrhoids, gallbladder and kidney problems just  to list a few.  Also, foods containing calcium must be organic, not added, refined or enhanced.  Once an organic food containing calcium has been heated, enhanced or whatever, it will automatically change into inorganic molecules and these do not deliver any sort of assistance our body needs to regenerate.

From my experience over the last year I have noticed a significant decrease in my headaches,  I have suffered from those several times per months for as long I can remember, even though I was drinking plenty of water.    Headaches are not only caused by not having enough water in your system but includes a deficit in nutrients as  found in carrots and in spinach.  Actually, a headache is only one of 200 symptoms when our bodies has been overloaded with toxins.  Any headache should be an alarm to you to cleanse your body thoroughly and to balance the blood.

My basic go-to juice is a combination of carrots/red beets/apples or carrots/apples/cucumber, they cover the most of what my body needs; however,  for this new year I will expand into other combo additions such as Brussel sprout, sellerie or dandelion.

The red beet, as an example, is  valuable for producing red blood cells, which raises our all around well-being.  A mix of 1/2 quart of  carrot/red beet per day  is especially recommended for women.  When juicing the red beet, you can use all of it,personally,  I don’t bother to peel it – I juice the stalk and leaves as well.  Just remember to wash all of your produce.  When starting with red beets, I recommend smaller amounts to begin with, since it has a high cleansing effect on the liver and may cause dizziness.  Mixed with carrots the juice supplies phosphor, sulfur along with kalium and other alkyne elements. Together with its high content of Vitamin A it is the ideal mix for creating great blood cells.

Carrots balances all body functions and is one of the best sources of Vitamin A, plenty of vitamin B, C, D, G and K.  As a juice the body can absorb vitamins, minerals, trace minerals and nutrients much faster and use were needed.  Carrot juice is good for digestive purposes, strengthens bones and teeth, not to mention eye health.  It also is a natural opponent for ulcers and it strengthens our resistance towards  infections.  It protects the nervous system and is by far one of the best sort of food your body can receive.

The list could go on and on.  Nature has everything we need to combat illnesses and each fruit or vegetable has its own unique gift.  Sellerie juice is wonderful for all who have consumed a lot of sugars, starches and carbs – all of our worst foods in today’s society.  It never was nature’s’ intention to convert these “foods” into nourishment for our cells and tissues.  The results of that can be easily seen today.  Sellerie is rich in healthy (organic) nitrates, which our body needs to keep cells hydrated.  It also has a key function to prevent the blood and lymphoid liquids becoming too thick. Not to forget, that it plays an important role eliminating all carbon dioxide from our body.  A deficiency of organic nitrate results in bronchial and lung problems, which is enhanced by those who smoke.  It will also result in premature aging.  Sellerie juice can have phenomenal results with our nervous system as well.

Nearly anything can be juiced, with the exception of avocado, bananas, kiwis and anything with that sort of texture.  You can juice kale, lettuce, radishes, potatoes, herbs, bell peppers, mustard leaves, squash, brussel sprouts and many more.  Other than buying quality produce, washing them well, I don’t bother with peeling, cutting off stems, stalks or leaves, nor do I cut out the apple core.  I juice it all.

For this year I want to increase my liquid diet from 32 oz per day to 48/52 oz and with the exception of eggs for protein, I will only eat pure foods and those should be in  raw form as much as possible.  Looking back to last year, the benefits I have enjoyed, I am really excited to make my switch over to liquid foods as much as I can.  From spiritual perspective it is believed, that humans will go from meat eaters to vegetarian, from vegetarian to vegan and from vegan over to liquid nourishment.  Once we make our transition from carbon based beings to crystalline beings we will take another step from liquid foods to drinking in light.  Just think how many people you know in your surroundings who have already decided to go vegetarian or vegan – perhaps there is something to this theory, don’t you think?

Close to My Heart

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The Importance of Avoiding Aluminum

Not too long ago, a friend gave me a call to inform me of her results from her last doctor’s visit, she was devastated to learn that she had the onset of Alzheimer’s disease .  She asked me for some help, so I went straight to work for a plan tailored to her personality and needs.

As I was standing in her kitchen, I was stunned to see how many unhealthy and even harmful items were in her kitchen.  I have no intentions of going into detail,however, there is one thing I want to mention to my readers.  once thing I want for you to do is to clear out everything that is made of aluminum!  Although we still do not know what all leads up to Alzheimer’s, we do know that heavy metals deposited in our bodies for years are a strong factor.  So, not only replace your cookware with stainless steel, or better yet, cast iron, but think about all of those carbonated beverages in cans and the canned goods packaged in tin!  Personally, I stay clear of any deodorant containing alumium (my recommendation, as always –  read the label!).

Alzheimer’s disease is a fast growing problem and accounts for 50-80% of all dementia cases and it is not a normal part of growing old!

 

 

Stay Away from Phthalates!

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No Room for Chemicals

In one of my earlier posts I had talked about the endless list of chemicals found in our everyday cremes, lotions and other hygiene products, their harmful effect and in the uselessness in the products overall.  Today I want to dive into this a bit further because we need to be more aware of how these chemicals surround us in common everyday items and even in foods so we can avoid them whenever possible.

I know it is hard to find the time to make all of the skin care items, soaps and household cleaners yourself, I know how much easier it is to just go ahead and grab whatever it is you need right off of the shelves of the nearest store.  However, I am convinced, that we owe ourselves much more than that, we deserve better!

Once again, I would like to bring up the phthalates.  This is a big nasty found in all products which contain fragrances.  It is found in Shampoos, perfumes and cleaners.  This chemical is also used to make plastic soft and squishy and is added into your infant’s toy or in your pet’s rubber chew toy.  This is a chemical, which will lead to disruptions of the hormone system; reproductive abnormalities and it can be an additional cause for higher risks for diabetes.  True, we can’t stay away from this chemical entirely since it is also used in medical tubing and PVC, but we can ban it from our bathroom shelves.  Get into the habit of reading the labels and opt for fragrance free products or choose items that list essential oils on their labels.

Sadly enough, these phthalates have found their way into our foods, a place they most surely do not belong!   My mantra ” keep it simple!!

 

 

Facial Pampering

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Herbal Facial Steam

Get into this routine – steam, mask scrub and tone.  Great for all ages and skin types.  Lets talk about a steam which prepares the skin for a wonderful face massage later on.  Chop a handful of fresh melissa leaves and chamomile flowers.  Pour some nearly boiling water into a heatproof bowl until it is half full.  Scatter the herbs into the water and lean over the bowl and cover your head with a towel..  Allow the steam to rise onto your face for about 15 minutes, then wipe your face dry or pat it dry.  Of course, as we know, the steam opens up the pores and eliminates impurities, while the melissa and chamomile are fabulously soothing to the skin.

Follow up with an Avocado, Cypress and Lavender Nourishing Mask

Aguacate / Avocado

Image via Wikipedia

In a bowl mash the flesh of half a ripe avocado, add a spritzer of lemon juice and then add 2 drops of cypress and 3 drops of lavender essential oils (make sure they are not synthetic oil). Vitamins A, D and E from the Avocado nourish and protect The cypress and lemon juice tone and the lavender soothes the skin.  Be generous when applying the mask , and remember to avoid the eye area.  Let the green paste be absorbed into your skin for 15 minutes, then wash off with warm water and dry face and neck gently.  Also, use the treatment on the day you mixed it.

For my next post we will be making the facial scrub and toner, step three and four of our facial pampering.

P.S.  I am now on Twitter!  Follow me @OnyxTweets

Keep it Simple

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Natural Skin Care

As stated in one of my earlier posts, we all should be more aware of the many commercial cosmetic products we put onto our skin.  We are so smitten with the sleek cosmetic advertising and the promises they never can deliver on.  We do not care enough to learn that only 5 % of the over 10,000 ingredients known to the FDA have been evaluated for safety.   We let out bodies absorb about 130 various chemicals on a regular basis coming from all the prettily packaged lotions, creams, rubs and sprays.  While the industry and the FDA insist that many of the ingredients are safe (which they very well may be), why is it then that the European Union has banned over 1,100 ingredients from skin care and beauty products vs. only 10 that are banned here in the U.S.?  Just about every day we hear of new studies of commonly used products that after many of years on the market suddenly are declared as harmful because of then unknown side effects of complex chemicals.  We do not know how certain chemicals affect us over the years; on others we do.  As an example, phthalates, often in artificial fragrances, is known to cause sperm damage, infertility and birth defects.

I hope my readers have gained some knowledge and are going to start being more critical of what they put onto their bodies as well as to what they put  into it. Our skin is like a sponge and while small portions may hardly be deadly, the accumulative amount over the years can be very harmful  My best advice is to keep it simple.  Examine labels, know that “natural” and “all natural”  still contain synthetic chemicals which may be toxic.  The terms are not regulated.  Stay clear from fragrances in your lotions, creams and soaps.  Companies are not required to declare the dozens of toxic chemicals  that can be in a product’s mix to mimic the smell of fresh pomegranate.

If  shopping for beauty or grooming products, this is when you really should go with organic  products – or make your own.

Get rid of dark eye circles!

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Heart potato

Image by cuorhome via Flickr

No Dark Eye Circles

Out dancing the night away and then having to rush to work  can leave visible, sure tell-tale signs around your eyes.  To get rid of them fairly quickly, grate a raw potato and place it in a small square of cheese cloth and place on eyelids for about 15 minutes.  Splash residue off with warm water and apply eyecream.